Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast is sending 15 military and civilians to Naval Station Gulfport and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans Aug. 30 as part of a Contingency Engineering Response Team (CERT).
The team departed from Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
This is the first time that a CERT team will be using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with camera, which will take photos from above to help the Disaster Assessment Teams (DAT) better evaluate the facilities and roads on the bases.
“These engineers will work directly for our Public Works Departments in Gulfport and New Orleans,” said NAVFAC Southeast Operations Officer Capt. Mark Edelson. “They will perform assessments of facilities and assets at both locations to help get these bases back to normal operations as soon as possible.”
“The Public Works Departments currently manage the facilities, water, power, and sanitation for the bases,” said Edelson. “They will be working hard to assist any efforts from agencies in the area and will support them with whatever they need to get the job done.”
A mobile command post (MCP) will provide work space, a variety of communication technology, and the ability to provide electronic submission of damage assessments from hand-held devices that hold the installation’s facility inventory. The MCP allows the CERT to communicate directly with NAVFAC Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla., from wherever they are located.
Sending engineers around the world is not new to NAVFAC.
“We always have a trained CERT ready to go at a moments notice,” said Don Maconi, NAVFAC Southeast contingency engineer.
Maconi explained that the CERT has DATs which consist of structural, electrical, and mechanical engineers, architects, roofing specialists, community planners and construction contract specialists that deploy to begin Rapid Damage Assessments. It is during this phase that debris is removed and basic functions are restored such as opening roadways, sanitation, water, electricity and communications.
Typically, these teams are deployed to assess hurricane or other storm damage to military installations, but also are deployed for humanitarian efforts such as a tsunami or the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
Press Release, August 31, 2012